At a pre-election campaign rally in Texas, President Trump had declared himself a proud nationalist. Apparently in response to this, at a ceremony in Paris last Sunday to commemorate the Armistice that ended World War One a hundred years ago, French President Emmanuel Macron laid in to nationalism: “Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism: nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism.”
That Armistice Day, November 11th, is also, as it happens, Poland‘s National Independence Day, a public holiday—the Polish July Fourth, as it were. This year is the centenary not only of the Armistice, but also of modern Polish independence, which Poles seized as the empires of Russia, Germany, and Austria were disintegrating all around them in 1918.
In Britain, the most significant nationalist event of the past few decades was the 2016 vote by referendum to leave the European Union—Brexit. Negotiations between the British government and the EU on the terms of departure have dragged on for two and a half years, but the matter now seems at last to be coming to a head.
There is talk of building a new European Army independent of NATO. German Chancellor Angela Merkelchimed in with agreement. We American nationalists would like nothing better than for the U.S.A. to withdraw from NATO. That would be a great boost to ournationalism, American Our nationalist President, however, disagrees: he scoffed at Macron’s idea.
Nationalism is highly relevant to our mission here at VDARE.com: to promote thoughtful, well-informed discussion of the U.S.A.’s National Question, with special attention to issues of demographics and foreign settlement.
It’s characteristic of mediocrities like Macron to be in thrall to the shallow clichés of the generation that came before them. For Macron in particular to be in thrall to the generation before him would actually be less surprising than the average, as he is married to a member of that generation. Mrs. Macron’s generation is also mine, more or less—she is eight years younger than I am—so I can speak with authority about those shallow clichés that were in the air during the decades after WW2.
One of those clichés was that while patriotism was good, nationalism was bad. Patriotism, the talking heads all told us in 1960 and 1970, was the warm, loving feeling you have for your country, with no malice or prejudice against anyone else’s country. Where there was such malice—or disdain, or contempt, or aggressive intentions—that was nationalism.
So nationalism was patriotism with attitude.
That was what all Goodthinking people believed through my young adulthood, and Mrs. Macron’s. It’s not hard to figure why we believed that. The aggressor powers in WW2, Germany and Japan, had state ideologies of militaristic imperialism, of which nationalism was undeniably a component. Setting out to conquer Europe and Asia, the Germans and Japanese felt justified in doing so because their nations were best.
Nationalism-wise, there’s a contradiction in there, though. As militaristic imperialists, the Germans and the Japanese had no time for anyone else’s nationalism. They both knew, as imperialists have known since civilization began, that nationalism is the bane of imperialism.
The Germans and Japanese who fought WW2 were not fans of Polish nationalism or Korean nationalism. They strove very mightily and brutally to extinguish those nationalisms. They were imperialists. Nationalist impulses may be harnessed by imperialism, but imperialism is fundamentally anti-nationalist. Ask a Tibetan.
That nationalism can be harnessed to the service of militaristic imperialism is not an argument against nationalism; it’s an argument against militaristic imperialism. The bonds of family loyalty and affection can be harnessed to the service of organized crime, as we see with the Mafia. That’s not an argument against family loyalty and affection.
So the conventional wisdom of 1970—patriotism good, nationalism bad—while it was understandable after the mid-century horrors, left much unsaid.
Now the things then left unsaid are being said. Here am I saying some of them.
So what does distinguish patriotism from nationalism?
One answer: nothing. The words “patriotism” and “nationalism” are synonyms.
We’re coming up to nationwide elections just as elite hatred of white people—including of course by Goodwhite ethnomasochists—is reaching a new level of intensity.
Just in the past few weeks:
Korean-born Sarah Jeong is now happily working away as a member of the New York Times editorial board. Sample quote from her: “Are white people genetically predisposed to burn faster in the sun, thus logically being only fit to live underground like groveling goblins?” [Sarah Jeong: NY Times stands by 'racist tweets' reporter, August 2, 2018]
Also at the New York Times, columnist Michelle Goldberg [Email her] published an October 29th op-ed with the title We Can Replace Them.This is straightforward Cold Civil War propaganda: the “We” in that title are Goodwhites and their nonwhite auxiliaries; the “Them” are Badwhites. Sample quote: “Right now America is tearing itself apart as an embittered white conservative minority clings to power, terrified at being swamped by a new multiracial polyglot majority.”
Tuesday this week a mulatto named Don Lemon, who hosts a talk show on one of the Goodwhite cable TV channels, offered the following thought: “We have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right, and we have to start doing something about them.”[CNN’s Don Lemon doesn’t apologize for calling white men ‘biggest terror threat’,November 1, 2018]
Yes, the Establishment’s id has been leaking out of its packaging all over. The hate-whitey forces are now so bold and confident, they feel no need to hide their true feelings of seething hatred towards us Deplorables.
Will this frankness on the part of Goodwhites play into next week’s midterm elections? It was surely a factor in the election of Donald Trump two years ago. As elite contempt for the people they rule over became ever more obvious, it was natural that we peasants, gullible and dimwitted though we are, should start to notice and develop resentment.
Broad public emotions like that Badwhite resentment of the elites have lives of their own, though—ups and downs, fevers and lulls. It’s possible the election of Donald Trump got it out of our system for a while, so that on November 6th we’ll vote on other stuff—health care, taxes.
It’s also possible that Trump’s failure to deliver on some of his key 2016 promises—building a border wall, disentangling us from pointless wars and alliances—has disillusioned many of his 2016 supporters, leaving them less likely to vote.
Contrariwise, it may be that all this anti-white stuff coming out into the open, along with the visuals of thousands of brown people from outhouse countries trying to storm our border, will fire up Badwhites and maybe move some more Goodwhites into the Badwhite camp, reducing the Blue Wave to a mere ripple, perhaps even—who knows?—generating a Red Wave.
Genetics was prominent this month, both privately and publicly.
Privately: I got my own test back from 23andMe. The ancestry data was deeply bor-ing. I am 70 percent “British and Irish,” all the rest some variety of European, mostly northwestern. I was hoping for something exotic I might boast about for virtue points with my liberal acquaintances: a trace of Hmong, perhaps, or Samoyed. Nope: I am shamefully white.
Something interesting came up in my “Relationships,” though. If you give 23andMe permission, they will add your DNA to a database that records genetic relationships of various degrees of closeness. I did this; and down there among the “Third to Fifth Cousins” (scroll down a bit) was … drum roll, please … John Brimelow! That’s VDARE.com Editor Peter’s brother. They are identical twins, so there didn’t seem much point in them both having their DNA scanned, as the results would just be the same.
It’s not actually that surprising. Derbyshires and Brimelows both come from Northwest England: the Derbyshires from Wigan, the Brimelows from Warrington, about twelve miles away. (Indeed, there’s a Brimelow Farm in Wigan. The Brimelow brothers sadly report it was never owned by their family). Our sturdy ancestors thought nothing of hiking twelve miles to find a breeding partner.
Still, it’s taking a while to get used to hearing the boss address me as “Cousin.”
Narrative defenders fighting in the last ditch
On the public front we had the little flap about Elizabeth Warren’s test result.
I did read with interest New York Times science reporter Amy Harmon’s three articles on the misappropriation of genetic science by hate-filled bigots like me.
The three articles appeared on successive days, as follows:
October 17th: Why White Supremacists Are Chugging Milk (and Why Geneticists Are Alarmed). Sample quotes: “Studying human genetic diversity is easier in a society where diversity is clearly valued and celebrated … There is no evidence, scientists stress, that environmental and cultural differences will not turn out to be the primary driver of behavioral differences between population groups.”
As you can see from the sample quotes there, Ms. Harmon has no clue what race realists (why does she call that term “coded”? isn’t the plain meaning right there in the words?), “white supremacists,” and “white nationalists” actually believe.
There are so many straw men in those three articles, I feared the New York Times website might burst into flames right there before my eyes. I’ve attended a score of conferences organized by people Ms Harmon would certainly tag as “white nationalist” and so on—Jared Taylor, Paul Gottfried, Peter Brimelow, even Richard Spencer. The topics of racial purity, racial hierarchy, and racial superiority were barely mentioned in those dozens of hours of conference addresses and Q&As.
The white attendees at those events mostly just want white people to be left alone; to not have their countries swamped by foreigners; to not constantly hear their ancestors insulted and belittled; for media and the authorities to stop lying to usand hiding the truth from us, as if we are children (“The attacker is described as about 5-foot-9 and 250 pounds.”)
The two sample quotes for October 17th are particular gems. The first one implies that studying human genetic diversity in, say, the U.S.A. is easier than studying it in, say, Japan. Does anybody believe this? Would any Japanese newspaper feel the need to publish, on three successive days, painfully contorted warnings on the perils of scientific facts about human biology leaking out to the Japanese public?
The second quote has as little semantic content as a sentence can have without being a perfect tautology. “There is no evidence for not-P” tells us nothing useful about the truth value of P. “There is no evidence it will not rain tomorrow.” So … should I pack an umbrella?
The overall impression given by Ms Harmon’s three articles is of someone fighting a desperate rearguard action. Yes, human behavior, intelligence, and personality do have some genetic basis. And yes, there are distinct, er, “genetic ancestry groups” … no, wait: I mean “major population groups” … no, hold on: “geographic ancestry groupings,” that’s it—but THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS RACE, I TELL YOU!”
This Megyn Kelly story caught my attention last week. She is (was) the host of a morning talk show on the NBC television channel. I don’t watch morning TV but I dimly remember her from her previous employment at Fox News. As best I can remember, she was a capable interviewer. I can’t recall having any negative impression of her.
But last Tuesday she was chatting with someone on the show hen the subject of Halloween costumes came up—in particular, the matter of white people who put on blackface as part of a Halloween act. Someone said it was racist. To which Megyn responded:
Clip: But what is racist? Because you do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface on Halloween, or a black person who puts on whiteface for Halloween. Back when I was a kid [JD: Kelly is only 47, and looks younger] that was OK, as long as you were dressing up as, like, a character.
That caused wailing and rending of garments from sea to shining sea and across the fruited plain. Ms. Kelly was denounced from CultMarx pulpits everywhere. Some woman named Roxanne Jones at the CNN website honked that “For me the most revealing part of Kelly’s explosive comments was their illumination of her true face as an out-of-the-closet racist.” [Megyn Kelly's 'blackface' comments show her true face, October 25, 2018] Ms. Jones’s own true face is pictured right.
Ms. Kelly made a grovelling apology but of course it only made things worse.
You must never apologize to these swine; it just further inflames their vindictiveness.
There are rumors that NBC was unhappy about her poor ratings and looking for an opportunity to drop her. That may be true for all I know. But the media storm of outrage over her Halloween remarks was none the less real.
What struck me about her remarks was their mildness. People are outraged about that?
Yes, a great many people are.
I had a similar reaction recently listening to a talk about sexual harassment. The talker was a female attorney who represents harassed women. She was obviously quite passionately engaged with the issue. She read out some of the depositions she had taken from plaintiffs in harassment cases. Samples from memory:
“He made lewd remarks every time I came into his office.”
“He put his hand on my rear end.”
“He tried to kiss me at a Christmas party.” (I think this was the strongest one):
I was sitting there listening to this, thinking: “That’s it? That’s a case in law? It just sounds to me like everyday office banter.”
I’d better admit I haven’t done full-time office work for nearly twenty years now. In the thirty years I was doing it, I can’t recall a single issue of anything I would call sexual harassment.
Guys were sometimes a nuisance to women, especially at office parties where the punch was flowing, but phrases like: “Oh, grow up, George!” and, “Would you keep your hands to yourself, please, Larry?” were still current back then.
Putting the two things together—Megyn Kelly and that lady attorney—it seems to me we have amped up sensitivity to a point where any kind of relaxed social life will soon become impossible.
When I first heard the word “microaggression,” I laughed. Could people really be serious who used that word? I wondered.
They certainly could; and now they have taken over. The merest shade of a hint of a tinge of a tint of negativity towards blacks, or of sexual suggestiveness to a female co-worker, is now a hanging offense, or at least a career-ending one.
The Swiftian ditty I recalled when microaggressions first came up—I think it was from one of Steve Sailer’s commenters—has come true:
Microaggressions have nanoaggressions
To marginalize and slight ‘em.
And nanoaggressions have picoaggressions;
And so ad infinitum.
This is the end of free banter, the end of workplace conviviality.
It also supplies the answer to the question: Why are comedians not funny any more? Answer: Because they dare not be.
But how did we get here? What or who been driving this dreadful development?
Back in 2001—boy, I’m really digging into the archives this week—I wrote a column titled “Race on Wall Street.” I told the story of the small department where I worked in an investment bank. In the several years I worked there, just three black employees came and went. Two of the three ended up with a lawsuit against the firm for racial discrimination, citing a different boss in the two cases. The firm settled in both cases—these firms always settle out of court. One of the settlements was for $250,000 dollars.
In daily interaction with these people across some two thousand days, I had witnessed nothing—setting aside [a] harmless kind of banter—that struck me as offensive, inflammatory or discriminatory.
But Managing Director of the firm explained the process to me. There is a breed of attorneys, he told me, who seek out black employees at big-money firms and explain to them that by signing a couple of depositions they can make a bundle of money.
The sexual harassment panic is a horse out of the same stable. Predatory trial lawyers seek out neurotic women, coach them on what to say, write up the depositions, and [ker-ching!]
This is the world we live in. Guided by the trial lawyers, and the merchants of racial grievance, we are drifting back to a stiff kind of Puritanism.
I don’t like Puritanism. I like to laugh.
Puritans don’t laugh—except at the sight of a burning witch.
The level of political violence in the U.S. is rising. The main reason for this, of course: the license given by our Establishment to the Antifa movement of Communist thugs. But will violence spread from the streets to the soldiers? I know, it sounds crazily apocalyptic. But it’s being discussed in Britain.
Twice recently—in Charlottesville last year, and in Portland, Oregon two weeks ago—we have seen municipal police forces deliberately stood down by their political superiors so that Antifa could control the streets. The Establishment’s media shills either find a way to frame the subsequent violence as someone else’s fault, as at Charlottesville, or else they just ignore it, as in Portland.
That is the context in which to evaluate the clashes in New York City on October 12 between Antifa activists and Gavin McInnes’s Proud Boys.
Gavin, who is a friend of mine,was to speak at the Metropolitan Republican Club on the Upper East Side. A few hours before his appearance, Antifa vandalized the building, breaking a window and spray-painting anarchist symbols. [Republican club on Upper East Side vandalized, by Katherine Lavacca, Larry Celona and Ben Feuerherd, NY Post, October 12, 2018]Gavin showed up and spoke anyway, but his appearance was followed by street fighting between Antifa and Proud Boys.
New York State’s corrupt and cynical Governor Andrew Cuomo, a puppet of the far-Left public-sector unions, blamed it on McInnes, who is just a guy with opinions outside the Narrative.
The New York Times report was bare-faced Establishment propaganda: they report, for instance, that Gavin brandished a sword, without telling their readers it was a plastic sword, a theatrical prop for some point Gavin wanted to make in his talk. [Proud Boys Fight at G.O.P. Club Spurs Calls for Inquiry; Cuomo Blames Trump, by Ashley Southall and Tyler Pager, October 14, 2018]They describe the Proud Boys as, quote, “a far-right group” but Antifa as … what, do you think? “A far-left group”? No, as “anti-fascist activists,” taking them at their own evaluation. They’re fighting fascism, you see? Just like the lads who stormed the Normandy beaches on D-Day.
They even tell us with a straight face that the Proud Boys have been “deemed a hate group” by (yes!) the Southern Poverty Law Center. “Deemed”: that’s one of those words like “espoused” that CultMarx journo-bots have set up as single-key macros.
Details aside, the interesting thing about these scuffles is that the fighting here seems to not have been, or not entirely have been, defensive on the part of the Proud Boys, as was the case with Unite the Right in Charlottesville. The Proud Boys were willing to fight back.
So the question arises: Are we moving into a zone where street fighting between political groups becomes normal?
Antifa have had the streets pretty much to themselves up to now, courtesy of cowardly political leaders. Actions generate reactions, though. It wouldn’t be terrifically surprising to see more groups like the Proud Boys coming up, ready and willing to fight.
The New York Times, which to the best of my knowledge has never printed a single word critical of Antifa, will denounce them as Nazis and appeal to the Southern Poverty Law Center for Hate Group designations. Which is why New York law enforcement is now hunting down and jailing the Proud Boys, while doing nothing whatever about Antifa.
But you can only push people so far before they push back. (You can donate to the Proud Boys legal defense here.)
And back of my question about the forthcoming normalization of political street fighting, is a bigger, darker one.
Suppose these street fights escalate to a serious, major breakdown of public order, serious enough to need the attention of the military. Will the military stand neutral? If not, if they take a side, which side will they take?
I have a news story here for your consideration, a story from across the Pond, from the old country.
Backstory: recently the English Dissident-right activist Tommy Robinson, who I’m sure needs no introduction to VDARE.com, by chance encountered a group of young soldiers, recent recruits, at a freeway service area outside London. The soldiers recognized Tommy—he’s been in the news a lot—and surrounded him, cheering and singing his name.
The Derbmobile had a slow leak on its right front tire, so Saturday morning I took it to the tire place.
My little town has a tire place everyone goes to. Perhaps yours does too. Our tire place is squinched in a short street between two bigger streets about to converge—like the bar of an upper-case “A”—in the low-commercial part of town (body shops, dry cleaners, chain drug stores, bodegas). The frontage is only about a hundred feet wide, twenty deep. There are four bays and a service-desk area.
Saturday morning they are super busy. There’s a small army of guys directing you to a parking place on the street or the forecourt, or into a bay. Under their directions, I parked at one side of the forecourt. A guy came out from the building and asked me, in a heavy Spanish accent, what was up. I told him. He jacked up the car, span the wheel, and quickly located a tiny nail imbedded in it. I was not to worry, he assured me, he could feex it, no prob-lem!
He took off the wheel and disappeared with it into a bay. I waited by the car, admiring the wonderful skill with which the choreographers, by gestures and shouting, managed the inward and outward flow of cars and customers. Skill and precision—the tire place guys deserve a mention in Simon Winchester’s book (below). Tolerance: 1 inch.
It seemed to me there must be endless possibilities for fender-benders with so many vehicles in such a small space. Does it ever happen? I asked one of the guys. “Not to my knowledge,” he replied in regular Long Islandish, never taking his eyes off the corps de ballet.
My man came back with the wheel, wet from the puncture bath. He put it back on, dzz dzz dzz, let down the car, and walked me to the service desk. Twelve dollars.
I almost like coming here: everyone working hard but good-natured, everything done so efficiently in such a confined space, fair prices, no fuss. No chicanery, either: They’ve never tried to sell me a new tire when the existing one is feex-able. The tire place is a model of useful everyday commerce.
There’s a serpent lurking in my paradise, though. A couple of streets over there’s a stretch of road where illegal aliens hang out early in the morning, looking for a day’s work. The probability that by having my tire fixed here I am participating in the cheap-labor racket I seethe and fume about on VDARE.com, is very high.
All sorts of questions arise. As a conscientious patriot, shouldn’t I be lobbying ICE to raid the tire place?
Or: Suppose they did raid it while I was lounging there by my car watching the forecourt maneuvers. Suppose they went into the bay where cheerful, efficient José was fixing my tire and brought him out in cuffs. Would I be, like, “Hey, wait a minute, fellers …” If José looked at me, would I look right back at him? What if ICE shut down the tire place and frog-marched the proprietors off to the bridewell?
Damn these moral conundrums! Answers: I am lobbying, in my own way, trying to bring my own particular limited abilities to the issue, writing internet articles deploring our open borders.
And no, I wouldn’t interfere with an ICE operation. You do the crime, you do the time—sorry, pal. It wasn’t me left the border open. Yes, I could meet his eyes. What’s right, is right. Scoffing at our laws is wrong. If ICE shuts down the tire place, there’s one in the next town over.
I do think, though, that after watching José being driven away, I’d feel a strong urge to find the nearest politician and break his jaw on José’s behalf.
Of course ICE didn’t show up. After paying the lady at the service desk, my man was hovering outside expectantly. I gave him an extravagant tip.
Passing on stage
In my September 14th podcast I recorded the passing of Indian public intellectual Rita Jitendra, who died on September 10th while being interviewed on live TV. I commented that: “Somewhere on the internet, I’m sure, there is a list of people who have died in the middle of some public performance.”
Several listeners did the due diligence I should have done, and pointed me to Wikipedia’s “List of entertainers who died during a performance.” There have been more such cases than you’d think. A general favorite with listeners was this one from 1971:
Longevity expert Jerome Rodale had been quoted as saying, “I’m going to live to be 100, unless I’m run over by a sugar-crazed taxi driver.” Soon after, he was a guest on The Dick Cavett Show. After his interview was done, Pete Hamill was being interviewed by Cavettwhen Rodale slumped. Hamill, noticing something was wrong, said in a low voice to Cavett, “This looks bad.” Rodale had died of a heart attack at age 72. The episode was never aired.
I think the case of Jim Fixx beats that for irony, though it doesn’t really belong in the Wikipedia list. Fixx was a leading promoter of the mid-1970s jogging craze, and wrote a best-selling bookadvocating running for health. He died of a heart attack in 1984, aged 52 … while jogging.
If you consider college faculty meetings to be performances, which some of my academic acquaintances surely do, a borderline Wikipedia-worthy case is that of Franz Boas the anthropologist, godfather of the No Such Thing As Racedogma. Boas died of a stroke at a Columbia faculty dinner in the arms of Claude Levi-Strauss, another crank anthropologist (but a much better writer).
My VDARE.com colleague James Fulford remarked on the number of stage performers who have died attempting the Bullet Catch illusion. There is even a book about this giving the precise number: Twelve Have Died.
I’m surprised the number isn’t bigger. Given the Pagliacci-style passions that swirl in the hothouse atmosphere of a troupe of healthy, highly-sexed young adult performers living and working in close quarters, especially on the road, the Bullet Catch illusion must offer irresistible temptations to jealous lovers and cuckolded husbands.
This whole business of dying while performing is fascinating. I’d write more, but I think I should go lie down. There’s this sudden pain … I … can’t breathe … I think … oh … ah …
This has, in my opinion, been an unfortunate week in the politics of our republic.
From a partisan political point of view the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on Judge Kavanaugh. have ended well, with Kavanaugh being voted through by the committee. The entire Senate will vote on his appointment to the Supreme Court next week.
Goodwhites are fighting a fierce rearguard action, though. A key figure here has been Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona, a Mitt Romney-style open-borders social conservative who is retiring from politics at the end of this year.
Favorite books of mine when I was a child were Richmal Crompton’s “William” stories, about a high-spirited suburban English boy named William Brown who did naughty things and got into adventures. William’s nemesis was a little girl named Violet Elizabeth Bott, whose main technique for getting her own way with William and his friends was to announce that if she didn’t get her way, she would scream and scream until she threw up. In British English, with a lisp, her line was: “I’ll thcream and thcream and thcream ’till I’m thick.”
It worked with eleven-year-old William and his pals; clearly it still works with Senator Flake.
Still, unless the opposition can pull off a new stunt between now and next Friday—which can’t be ruled out—failing that, the omens for eventual confirmation don’t look too bad.
The thing people want to know is, what effect will these confirmation hearings have on the mid-term elections?
It’s not easy to figure out. With the Presidency not in play, mid-term races are more local. Property taxes, highway maintenance, and shenanigans in the State Assembly loom larger than relations with China or terrorism or the National Debt. If you don’t know all the local issues and controversies—and I’ll admit I don’t—it makes the mid-terms hard to call.
And then there’s the famous base, the voters who take their politics most seriously. They’re more prominent in mid-term voting than less committed types who will show up every four years to help pick a President but take a political nap in between times. Both big parties have a base, of course.
What makes the effect of the Kavanaugh hearings hard to estimate is that there was something here to please both bases. The mid-terms may hinge on whose base got pleased more.
Prior to these hearings, the phrase being bandied about was “enthusiasm gap.” The Democrats’ base voters were morefired up, pundits told us, their hatred of Trump just more intense after two years’ exposure to him, their ranks fortified by two more annual cohorts of adult voters coming out of our colleges.[ The ‘Enthusiasm Gap’ Could Turn A Democratic Wave Into A Tsunami, By Nate Silver, Five Thirty Eight, March 14, 2018]
Those cohorts of younger voters have been marinated for four years in CultMarx ideology from anti-white, anti-male professors; and they’ve been subjected to careful sculpting of news and commentary by the social-media monopolies whose products they are addicted to.
Contrariwise, the pre-hearings wisdom went, Trump’s base was disheartened and disappointed by Trump’s failure to accomplish the big-ticket items they voted for in 2016: firm enforcement of immigration laws, properly defended borders, disentangling us from military commitments abroad.
It’s nice that the economy’s doing well, we got tax cuts, and our Israeli embassy has been moved to Jerusalem, but those are not things that brought out the Trump voters two years ago. Trump talks a good game, but he’s visibly failing at the one thing above all a President needs to succeed at: getting Congress to turn his proposals into legislation.
So that was the situation pre-hearings. The Tutsis (Goodwhite Democrats) were still fired up by hatred of Trump and indignation at Mrs. Clinton’s losing in 2016—unfairly, they are sure. The Hutus (aka Deplorables) were discontented, their 2016 passion deflated by the President’s failure to move us any real distance away from invade-the-world, invite-the-world neoconnery.
The Kavanaugh hearings were not displeasing to Tutsis. Dr Ford’s testimony, and the whole story she told, reinforced their fantasies of preppy white men having their way, coasting through life on arrogance and privilege, while non-male non-white serfs groan and suffer under the iron heel of oppression. So Tutsis are still fired up. The hearings did nothing to cool their ardor.
The Hutus will, however, I think, have gained more from the proceedings, thereby closing the enthusiasm gap some. There was a lot for a Hutu to like there.
Mainly there was Judge Kavanaugh himself, of course. He was firm and clear, he showed spine, and he gave as good as he got.
He mixed some yin in with the yang, too, some feminine in with the masculine, choking up when he talked about his daughter praying for Dr Ford.
If I am at all representative, Hutu men winced at that. We’d rather a man kept his composure in public. Hutu women, however, really go for that stuff. I doubt the Republican Party lost male Hutu votes on account of Judge Kavanaugh’s tears, but it picked up a few thousand on the distaff side.
The fuss over Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh having allegedly copped a feel from a high-school girl 35 or 36 years ago blew up just after last week’s Radio Derb went to tape. My own first reaction, when I first heard the accuser’s account of what happened, was: “They’re making a fuss about that?” But over and above the particular issue of Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination, there is a meta-issue. Why are Supreme Court nominations now such central events in our country’s political life?
About my first reaction: We really have bred up a generation of snowflakes; and snowflakery is such an appealing approach to life for some elements of previous generations—in this case, the generation of Kavanaugh and his accuser, which I think classifies as late-Boomer or early-Gen-X—trembling, fearful snowflakery is so appealing to some of these folk, they’ve retconned their own lives to incorporate it.
I can certainly testify that for my generation, the earliest Boomers, the encounter as alleged would not have moved the needle on anybody’s outrage dial. For one thing, a 15-year-old girl attending a house party with no adults present and booze flowing, would have been assumed to be a bit sluttish, so that the normal reserve and respect we accorded to all females would have been diminished somewhat. No, not abandoned, but diminished.
For another thing, I definitely—actually, quite vividly—recall that in my own teen years, my female coevals had sharp little fists that could give you a nasty black eye if you got out of line. Presumably teenage girls suffered some collective atrophy of the muscles in the twenty years between my house-partying and Brett Kavanaugh’s, leaving them defenseless against giggling drunk 17-year-old males trying to grope them.
That was my first reaction. My second reaction: Democrats really know how to play politics, while Republicans really don’t.
The Democrats’ political aim here is to juice up the baizuo vote. Baizuo is a loan-word from Chinese, literally “white left.” It’s used by Chinese bloggers to make fun of our Social Justice Warriors, whom they regard with somewhat baffled amusement. Baizuo has two less syllables than “SJW,” so I use it in a spirit of syllabic conservation.
Mid-term elections are coming up November 6th, six weeks next Tuesday, and Democrats want to energize their base, the baizuo. The most numerous cohort in the baizuo is women; so what better way to energize them than with a sexual-assault scandal, however minute and implausible? That’s really the beginning and end of it; that’s what this business is all about.
As I said, though, I’m impressed with the skill of the Democrats here, especially the timing. It’s really been pretty darn clever.
The Republicans, contrariwise, reveal themselves once again to be the Hopeless Party. Far from being any good at the political game, they’re hardly even bothering to play it. “Well, of course, in all fairness, we have to listen to what she has to say,” they are murmuring.
No, actually you don’t. An out-of-the-blue accusation with no supporting evidence, timed for maximum disruption, against a man who has already been background-checked up the wazoo? The correct response by the Judiciary Committee would have been: “With all proper respect, Ma’am, if you believe you have been wronged, the law has remedies. By all means go ahead and seek those remedies. Meanwhile, we shall proceed with our hearings, as prescribed by the Constitution.”
There is no escaping politics, of course. Still, formal constitutional proceedings should be conducted with a firm dignity and dispatch. They should not allow themselves to be derailed by such transparently political stunts as this one. Does no-one in the Republican Party understand this?
So, the meta-issue: Why are Supreme Court nominations now so important?
The foremost characteristic of American government in our age is in fact the utter uselessness of Congress. If the U.S. Capitol fell into a vast sinkhole while Congress was in session, would the national life be changed in any way? For the worse, I mean—hey, come on.
The latest estimate I have seen for the money cost of the wars fought by Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama is 5.6 trillion dollars. That’s a mighty lot of dollars. Yet Congress never declared war on anyone, as the Constitution says it should.
Nearly two years ago we elected a president whose signature campaign promise, enjoying very wide public support, was to build a wall along our southern border. Has Congress approved federal funds for that, as the Constitution says they should? Nah. The Senate Majority Leader, stifling a yawn, has said they might do some talking about it after the coming mid-term elections…maybe…possibly…you know, if there’s room in the schedule.
I’m reminded of the late Irish comedian Dermot Kelly, when an interviewer asked him whether the Irish language had any expression equivalent to the Mexican Eh, mañana. “Why, to be sure,” replied Kelly, “we do have such a term; but it doesn’t carry quite the same sense of desperate urgency.”
Congress is a waste of space. Serious legislating is done by the Supreme Court, by SLOTUS. That’s why it’s so all-fired important.
Yet this is not what the Founders intended. The September 15th issue of The Economist laid this out in a brilliant and forceful leader.
Yes, yes, I know: The Economist, cucky globalist Trump-hating open-borders flapdoodle…I have made regular contributions to our feature called “Economist Watch” here at VDARE.com, jeering at The Economist. Yes, yes; but stopped clocks and so on—sometimes they get things right, and they got this right:
The judiciary, wrote Alexander Hamilton in Federalist Paper 78, “may truly be said to have neither FORCE nor WILL, but merely judgment … [It] is beyond comparison the weakest of the three departments of power.” For much of American history, politicians saw the Supreme Court as a backwater. John Rutledge, one of the first justices appointed by George Washington, resigned to become chief justice of South Carolina. Not until 1935 did the court have a building of its own. Today it occupies a central and increasingly untenable position in American life …
Nice to see my old pal the Dalai Lama in the news. His Holiness spoke at a conference titled “The Art of Happiness and Peace” in the city of Malmö, Sweden.
The event was hosted by a Swedish outfit named—please pardon my Swedish—Individuell Människohjälp, “IM” for short. I think the full Swedish name means “Individual Assistance.” It’s some kind of international do-gooder outfit which “now works in thirteen countries worldwide focussing on people’s right to education, good health and the ability to sustain a life in dignity.” Sounds very Swedish. I wonder if they take money from George Soros.
I shouldn’t be so reflexively sour and cynical, though—Heaven forbid! Jolly good luck to IM. Most to the point, they did give the Dalai Lama a platform to say something sensible.
I’ve always had a soft spot for this Dalai Lama. I met him once, 34 years ago, when he and I were both much younger (he is currently 83). He struck me as having just the right balance of humanity and gravitas that I’d want in a religious leader. Of course, a lot of what he said was bland religious-leader stuff about world peace and such. But nothing was plainly false or idiotic, and some was refreshingly honest.
In the West, I do not think it advisable to follow Buddhism. Changing religions is not like changing professions. Excitement lessens over the years, and soon you are not excited, and then where are you? Homeless inside yourself.
If Tibetan Buddhism has a Marketing Department, that must have got them wailing and rending their garments. It’s true, though.
The Dalai Lama’s remarks in Malmö were similarly sensible. On the topic of Third-Worlders flooding into Europe uninvited, he said: “Receive them, help them, educate them … but ultimately they should develop their own country … I think Europe belongs to the Europeans …”[Dalai Lama: 'Europe belongs to the Europeans', AFP/The Local, September 13, 2018]
So, OK, he’s accepting the flim-flam about them being refugees, which hardly any of them actually are, and he presumably thinks they are penniless and desperate, when in fact they are mostly well-dressed middle-class types with cellphones who could afford to pay the people-smugglers.
He is also looking at the issue from his own point of view, as a genuine refugee. The Dalai Lama fled his homeland sixty years ago when Communist China asserted totalitarian control over the country. Since then he’s kept alive the dream of himself and his fellow exiles one day returning to a Free Tibet.
So, OK, there are qualifications to be made. Still the Dalai Lama said a sensible thing at the end there: “Europe belongs to the Europeans.” Yes, it does.
His saying that thing of course generated much gasping and sputtering among Goodthinkful Europeans. ['Europe Belongs to Europeans': Dalai Lama Stuns Swedish Public, Sputnik, September 14, 2018] A depressingly common response was, “Why don’t the Dalai Lama and his followers set an example by returning to their own country?” Answer: because they would, beyond a doubt, be tortured and killed by the ChiCom Gestapo. You really don’t need a Ph.D. in Far Eastern Studies to know that.
The Dalai Lama’s observation turned my thoughts to the sea change in the international order that’s occurred over my lifetime: the drift from pride to parasitism.
Case in point: Another remark that caused shrieking and wailing among Goodthinkers this week was President Trumps’ skepticism about an updated count of deaths from Hurricane Maria, which hit Puerto Rico in mid-September last year. The government of the place recorded 64 deaths. A few days ago, researchers at George Washington University published a report that estimated “there were 2,975 excess deaths in Puerto Rico due to Hurricane Maria between September 2017 and February 2018.”[GW Researchers: 2,975 Excess Deaths Linked to Hurricane Maria, August 29, 2018]
President Trump took it personally, tweet: “This was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible when I was successfully raising billions of dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico.”
…..This was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible when I was successfully raising Billions of Dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico. If a person died for any reason, like old age, just add them onto the list. Bad politics. I love Puerto Rico!
Whatever. Clinging as I am to the hope that Trump may actually do something to restore our national sovereignty, and believing as I do that Representative Luis Gutierrez is pond scum, I’ll take the President’s side on this one.
Mention of Puerto Rico, though, brings to my mind that great slow decades-long trend from pride to parasitism among the peoples of the Third World.
The trend is vivid to me because I’ve watched it across these decades, starting in my college years in England during the early 1960s.
Headliner of the week was the anonymous op-ed published in the New York Anti-White Times on Wednesday by—from the byline—”a senior official in the Trump administration whose identity is known to us and whose job would be jeopardized by its disclosure.”
From the tone of the thing, the respectful references to tax cuts and “a more robust military” and total lack of reference to immigration, the author is a Never Trumper, a Jeb Bush-Paul Ryan GOP type. He tells us that
Many of the senior officials in [Trump's] own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.
There is an underlying systemic problem here.
A new President, coming into office, has to staff up the White House apparatus and the Cabinet departments. That’s a lot of personnel slots to fill. Where are you going to find all the people?
The problem is more than usually acute for a new President like Trump, who’s an outsider, not a member of the political Establishment.
That’s actually putting it mildly: Trump is the outsiderest outsider since Andrew Jackson. In fact he’s even more of an outsider than Jackson, who’d served in Congress and been defeated in a previous run for President before his 1828 victory. And the federal government and the White House Establishment were far, far smaller in Jackson’s day. Trump, coming in after November 2016, had a colossal staffing problem.
How to solve that problem? My own preferred solution would have been a mass cull of federal office positions, a drastic trimming of the organization chart; if not down to 1828 levels, as close as could be done. Who thinks we need all those Assistant Under Secretaries to the Deputy Undersecretary? Not me.
I realize, however, that that’s over-idealistic. More on that in a segment or two. Trump’s problem on coming to office was that there weren’t enough Trumpists to staff a Trump administration. He had perforce to fall back on holdovers from the next best thing: previous Republican administrations.
The President himself, bless him, seems to have no great enthusiasm for trying to turn Niger into Denmark, and couldn’t care less if anyone thinks he’s racist.
That’s Trump; that’s Trumpism; trouble is, there aren’t enough Trumpists to staff up the huge, creaking edifice of federal government. So there are Bush-Ryan-Romney types all over, doing their best—as the anonymous New York George Soros Times op-ed writer frankly admitted—to thwart Trump’s program. That would be the program 63 million of us voted for in 2016.
Trump himself isn’t completely blameless. Yes, Trumpists with enough of a résumé to be useful as staffers were thin on the ground in 2016, but Trump none the less ignored some of those who were available. Could he really not have found a slot for Kris Kobach? For Tom Tancredo? For Pat Buchanan?
And the President himself could be more forceful in resisting these siren voices from the George W. Bush era whispering in his ear.
Trump’s instinct is that we need to defend our southern border but we don’t need to defend Lithuania’s border with Belarus, as we are currently committed to do by the NATO charter. Those “senior officials” that Anonymous is writing about hold the contrary opinions, and Trump has gone along with them; so the southern border is wide open and the Lithuania-Belarus border is under the stern protection of the U.S. military.
Why did he go along with this? He didn’t have to. Why didn’t he tell the “senior officials” to go boil their heads?
Part of the answer, possibly all of it, can be found in those disastrous televised White House meetings with congresscritters earlier this year, the one on immigration January 9th and the one on gun control February 28th. As I reported after the earlier of those two cuckfests, “If the President’s performance on-camera was a sample of his negotiating skills, his next book should be titled The Art of the Kneel.”
Allowances should be made, though. At some point in the last few years we—we, the Western world—crossed into new, uncharted political territory. If we haven’t found our bearings yet—if even some of those who led us into this new territory are still not totally oriented—it’s really not surprising.
So should we anticipate a soft coup? Will the Never Trump cucks wrest back control of the GOP?
John Derbyshire writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him. He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. His most recent book, published by VDARE.com com is FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle).His writings are archived at JohnDerbyshire.com.